Engaging Parents with Naviance
Studies show that parent involvement in a student's education can lead to better academic performance, yet schools often struggle to get parents involved.
by Rob Spackey, product marketing manager, Hobsons
Studies show that parent involvement in a student’s education can be one of the biggest factors affecting success during and after high school. And while critically important, schools often struggle to get parents involved. Limited staff time, a lack of resources to provide parents, or uncertainty about how to engage families are just a few contributing factors.
Furthermore, a study by the Harvard Family Research Project reports that “family involvement in secondary school tends to decrease from earlier years. Yet a large body of research supports the importance of family involvement in the middle and high school years.” Although parent engagement tends to decline as students move to higher grades, students perform better across the board when parents are involved.
A core tenet of Naviance is that student success, and college and career readiness depend on collaboration between students, educators, and parents. One district, Stamford Public Schools in Connecticut, has seen success recently in fostering collaboration and engaging parents using Naviance.
Paula Ward, Curriculum Associate for Technology, describes how one school conducted a Naviance demonstration at a PTA meeting and focused on the Sallie Mae national scholarship database and local scholarships that the school wished to highlight. From talking with parents, Paula and her colleagues Sue Rigano and Carolyn Conte from the Stamford Public Education Foundation knew that many parents, especially those with first generation college-going students, were intimidated by the cost of attending college. Through Naviance, they helped to both de-mystify the costs and provide access to scholarship resources. The Stamford school typically has 10-15 parents come to a PTA meeting, but that week they had 45 parents who came to learn how Naviance could help them and help their students with the college planning process.
Stamford also helped educate parents about the college process using Naviance during College Night when colleges visit local high schools. A Naviance booth was set up to show how Family Connection, the Naviance portal for students and families, gives parents visibility into their students' college and career planning activities. Paula suggests engaging parents at already scheduled events, such as College Night or parent teacher conferences. Another suggestion is to communicate with parents directly through Naviance by sending mass and individual messages to any parent who has logged in. This increased engagement and saved Stamford money and time from mailing home flyers and other printed materials.
Paula says Naviance is more than just a useful tool, it provides all students equal access to the same resources. She says, ”It’s about equity, accessibility and transparency. That’s what Naviance provides. It makes it a level playing field for all students.”
What are you doing to increase family engagement and get families involved in their students’ college and career planning?
FAMILY CONNECTION ENGAGEMENT PACKAGE
In response to schools’ desire to increase parent engagement in the post-secondary planning process, we have created the Family Connection Engagement Package. This resource contains best practices, Naviance quick references guides, templates for communicating with parents, and student and parent brochures that schools can distribute to educate families on Naviance tools. All documentation is provided in both English and Spanish.
Contact us to learn more about the Naviance Family Connection Engagement Package.
comments powered by Disqus